Saturday 16 December 2017

Former soldier jailed for 'merciless' attack that left mother begging for her life

Jonathan McSherry (34) with former partner Jessica Bowes
Jonathan McSherry (34) with former partner Jessica Bowes

Declan Brennan

A judge has jailed a former soldier who was high on cocaine when he repeatedly punched and kicked his ex-partner, fracturing her eye sockets, face and skull.

Jessica Bowes begged for her life during the "merciless" attack by Jonathan McSherry (34). McSherry breached a barring order to go to the victim's home to assault her.

Ms Bowes after the assault that left her unconscious
Ms Bowes after the assault that left her unconscious

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Melanie Greally said that McSherry's "brutal acts of violence" left his victim unconsciousness and in "a very perilous position".

In a victim impact report, the mother-of-three said her lips wouldn't close together fully and in a cold environment her top lip didn't move, making her face look "deformed".

McSherry, of Cedarbrook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Grange View Way, Clondalkin, on December 20, 2015.

Footage of the attack, played in court, showed him punching Ms Bowes to the ground, kicking her at least four times and then dragging her along the ground and continuing to punch her.

She lost consciousness after the first punch and then a second time during what she described as a merciless attack. She said she thought she was going to die. The assault left her with permanent scarring and nerve damage.

The court heard there were fractures to her skull, eye sockets and cheek bone. The imprint of a shoe was left on her face and there were boot marks under her chin.

She had a metal plate put into her face. Her memory was impaired and she relied on her 10-year-old daughter to remind her of the younger children's birthdays, the court heard.

Nightmares

Ms Bowes said she was now overprotective of her children and in a constant state of anxiety. She had nightmares about McSherry and became paralysed with fear and "trapped in a nightmare".

Judge Greally previously remanded McSherry on continuing bail to yesterday so he could continue his treatment at the Coolmine residential drug treatment programme.

She suspended the last year of a three-and-a-half year prison sentence on condition that he remain alcohol and drug free and that he attend a Probation Services group for men who engage in violence against women.

She also ordered him to refrain from having any contact with the victim. She backdated the sentence to March last to take account of time spent in custody and treatment.

Counsel for McSherry, who has two young children with the victim, said he had no words to express his remorse for his actions.

"He has done everything he can to make amends, to try to change himself, for the sake of his family."

Irish Independent

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